Gonzales eyes first table tennis gold in Cambodia SEAG

AT 51 years old, Richard Gonzales isn’t done playing for the national team just yet.

In fact, the Filipino table tennis living legend is eyeing nothing less than delivering the country’s first ever Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) gold medal in this year’s edition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“I can still do it,” said Mr. Gonzales during an interview in the Philippine Sports Commission’s online People, Sports, Conversations show on Thursday. “And with your prayers and support, we will try to win the gold in Cambodia.”

Mr. Gonzales earned his outright spot to the Phnom Penh-bound national team along with John Russel Misal after the duo delivered a silver in last month’s Hanoi SEA Games.

And it could have been a gold — the country’s first in its SEA Games participation in the sport — had Messrs. Gonzales and Misal held on to set point in the fourth game and force a deciding fifth game where momentum would surely be on their side.

It wasn’t meant to be, though.

“We felt if we took that fourth set, we would have gotten momentum and win the gold,” Mr. Misal, a former UAAP MVP, said for his part.

Philippine Table Tennis Federation (PTTF) president Ting Ledesma said they will hold a national team selection for the eight remaining spots to the Cambodia-bound squad — five females and three males.

“John Russel and Mr. Richard are assured of their spot to the SEA Games. The rest will have to compete for the remaining eight slots to the team,” said Mr. Ledesma. — Joey Villar